This thread is like watching a car accident. So yucky, yet you can't (easily) look away.
I'm reminded of the guys from the 80s that loved Reagan and his pals who wanted to "go global" with the biggest US businesses. So they ship all the labor off to another country to the soundtrack of American guys singing Lee Greenwood's classic. Fast forward a few years and you have immigrants all over the place working for next to nothing and the national economy (whatever that really is) is in the tank.
Now those Joes that were cheering Reagan/Bush#1/Clinton and their billionaire pals, those Joes are still around but guess who they blame--? Yeah, the cheap labor immigrants. So when I see this thread, I realize that there is just something in the water. In America but also in other similar countries. Shoot at easy targets. In this case, the bargain basement DSLR hobbyist turned professional wedding photographer. Just like with blaming poor immigrants, it's the easiest target for your frustration. But is it the correct target? In both cases, the answer is no.
Though simpler and perhaps comforting, things are usually more complex than assigning unilateral blame to this or that party. Sorry, but that's the real world. In reality, the economy stinks and people are partnering up to make ends meet and raise kids. Marriage is becoming more a survival arrangement than a sacred pact. Therefore the 'big day' has also taken on less significance. As a recent Petapixel article talked about, when it comes to the photos an amateur can produce with a recent model DSLR, good enough' really has become good enough for most folks on wedding day. So the Craigslist photographers are filling a real and growing niche of folks who would perhaps like some pics of the day (maybe even if ONLY for their old school parents/aunts and uncles) but simply are not willing to put even $1500 into that. Some of them, dare I say a lot of them even, have $3k or $4k to put into it but it just isn't worth it to them as it was the previous generation.
The society is changing in that regard.
And incidentally, the Reagan/blame the immigrants comparison is connected in that many upstanding able-bodied folk are simply no longer able to make ends meet (no less get ahead) working a regular tax paying 9 to 5 job. A part of the reason they can't is because of political decisions made 30 years ago to allow big business to send manufacturing to countries with weak or nonexistent labor laws. What used to be good jobs, no longer pay the bills. And there are far less of those sub-par jobs to be found as well. So people are, perhaps now more than in 80 or 90 years, looking for other things, anything, to supplement their income. Wedding photography being one of those options.
There are still people who have the inclination and coin to drop 4 grand on a wedding photo package but that group is way smaller and that, and larger political decisions made by both corporate beholden Dems and Repubs, needs to be acknowledged as much if not more than blaming the $600 CL wedding photographer.